A councillor has expressed his sadness after documents revealed a £2.5 million project may be scrapped due to spiralling costs.

Allerdale Council’s executive committee is due to discuss the possibility of pulling the plug on the plans for Reedlands Business Park, which would have seen 12 new business units created on land at Reedlands Road in the Moss Bay area of the Workington.

The authority had secured a grant of £1.5m from the European Regional Development Fund for the proposals and expected to cover the remaining £1m from borrowing.

However, a report published prior to the executive meeting on October 14 warns of a significant increase in costs, with the subsequent borrowing required having a negative impact on the council’s budget.

Following ground investigation works identifying underlying mine workings, buried obstructions and poor ground conditions on site, forecast project costs have increased significantly.

Based on the originally forecast costs the scheme would have been cost-neutral to the authority over the 15-year period.

However, given the increase in costs and borrowing, the project is now forecast to have a net negative impact on the council’s revenue budget during that same period following completion.

The new cost of the project is expected to be more than £2.8m if it went ahead.

Michael Heaslip, Workington town councillor, said: “It would be very sad if it can’t go ahead.

“It would have resulted in jobs and a boost to the economy but the plan as it is isn’t feasible.

“The council needs to find an alternative use.

“It is a very valuable site right in the middle of an industrial area; we can’t leave it derelict.

“I have seen the report and have checked carefully the figures and if it is as I believe it is, it can’t go ahead.

“We need to find a way to do something on that site. I will be challenging the executive to do something with that site.”

Allerdale Council's executive member for economic growth, Mike Johnson, said: “We still need to look at the whole of the project’s costs to see if it will generate sufficient income.”

Mr Johnson said that a final decision on the project would be made on October 14.